‘Manu helped me become calm’: Wamiqa Gabbi on her role in Disney+ Hotstar show ‘Grahan’

Wamiqa Gabbi in ‘Grahan’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Wamiqa Gabbi called her father while shooting for the Telugu film Bhale Manchi Roju, over six years ago. It was her first South Indian film. The actor from Punjab struggled with the lines. “I don’t think I can do this,” she cried to her father.

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“There have been actors from North India who have managed quite well in the South. Just saying,” her father replied.

Annoyed, she hung up. Wamiqa didn’t quite get the consolation she wanted. But her father’s taunting response motivated her. She wanted to join the list of actors he told her about.

Two films each in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam later, she admits that language isn’t a barrier that one cannot overcome. “Every night, I sit with an assistant director and learn my dialogues. I repeat it over and over again to get the flow of the language and the meaning of the lines. I make sure my lip sync is correct. It’s a long process. But I enjoy it,” she says.

Wamiqa recently made her web series debut in Grahan, which is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar. The show is based on Satya Vyas’ popular novel on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Chaurasi. The story traverses between the present day and the ‘80s. Wamiqa’s character, Manu, is set in the past.

Though the story is based on a real-life incident, Wamiqa says she never had to research for her role. “Manu is a kind-hearted, naive girl. She has this really small radio with which she listens to songs. She is in her own world. So, apart from my scenes, I stayed away from other parts of the story. I did this not to spoil the innocence of the character.”

“Playing Manu helped me be calm and peaceful in my life,” she says, “For instance, we are constantly overfed information 24x7 through our devices. But Manu is from an era bygone, where people didn’t even know what their lovers were up to. There was a sense of curiosity and charm to that. And, it was okay to not know everything. That’s something that I take away from playing this character.”


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Printable version | Sep 19, 2021 10:09:45 AM |

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